War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Friday, May 9, 2008 — New Black Boots

It is the responsibility of the B/W/S Sup O to ensure that the correct size footwear is issued to all personnel. Improperly fitted footwear affects the general well being of an individual, often to such an extent as to impair health, morale and efficiency. ALM007, Vol 3, ch13, sec G, paras 11-12

M.,

Remember, “Hey girl, I’ve got new black boots, standard army issue. After fifteen years I marched my old ones out”

I read this in a Spanish bar. Old men blew smoke, leered. The barman a jerk. Made me buy his greasy jamon bocadillas, his warm beer. Charged me three times the rate to read, “I love my new boots. So comfortable. I’m in Shiloh. My buddy and me, we’re boxing with my son’s Wii in the bar. Soon I’m shipping out”.

And maybe because I’d fallen for my own. boots. Every morning after, I rose at dawn, hiked the meseta, everywhere wedding bouquet. Wild thyme, blood poppies, lavender, white chamomile. Fields of rye. For kilometres I imagined. You. Inspecting new boots. Holding them like newborns. Counting bits, making sure they worked. Soles, heels, tongue.

For kilometres the question. Would they take you away or bring back. you to me? I walked a wide plain, a country.

Last year. You marched your own, eight thousand kilometres away. Left right left right. Each with purpose. You for a queen, a dictator, war-skinned children. Me, to walk you. Out.

Deeper into meseta my feet crunched. Gravel, red dust. It skirted, circled like the swallows, like the red tailed hawks. How could I know. It was then. With new black boots. An ocean, half a continent away. You walked love in.

S

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Welcome to MayDay

MayDay is a series of letters in prose, poem, txt, email, of a young woman to her infantryman lover serving in Afghanistan.

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